Creative Women & Projects

10 TED Talks for Creative Women of Colour

There’s nothing more inspiring than a support system whether virtual or physical that helps you get through interesting times, tough or not. We understand and know how important this is, so we collated a couple of TED Talks that we have found inspiring to share with you, knowing that a support system doesn’t have to be physically close to you. This list of creative inspiration from women of colour will spur you on to overcome your challenges, face your fears, seek out opportunities and assure you that there are women like you pushing themselves to become better in their art and work.

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance?
You have to unleash the talents and passions of many people and you have to harness them into a work that is actually useful. Innovation is a journey. It’s a type of collaborative problem solving, usually among people who have different expertise and different points of view.
In this talk Linda Hill, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School describes tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing.

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win
“Success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating in creativity and mastery. But this is the thing: What gets us to convert success into mastery? It comes when we start to value the gift of a near win.”
In this talk Art historian and critic, Sarah Lewis asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives.

Angélica Dass: The beauty of human skin in every color
“I remember my first drawing lessons in school as a bunch of contradictory feelings. It was exciting and creative but I never understood the unique flesh-colored pencil. I was made of flesh but I wasn’t pink. My skin was brown, and people said I was black. I was seven years old with a mess of colors in my head.”
In this talk, Angélica Dass explores the inspiration behind her photography project ‘Humanae’ which challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity.

Meklit Hadero: The unexpected beauty of everyday sounds
“How do the sounds we hear every day influence the music that we make? I believe that everyday soundscape can be the most unexpected inspiration for songwriting, and to look at this idea a little bit more closely”
Meklit Hadero is an Ethiopian-American singer-songwriter living the cultural in-between. In this talk she highlights sonic and creative influences that will electrify your creative energy.

Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything
“Work is at all times building a nation out of thin air. It is manning the troops. It is painting a canvas. It is hitting every high note. It is running a marathon. It is being Beyoncé. And it is all of those things at the same time. It is creative and mechanical and exhausting and exhilarating and hilarious and disturbing and clinical and maternal and cruel and judicious, and what makes it all so good is the hum.”
Shonda Rhimes is the titan behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. In this talk, she explains how she’s faced her fears and powered her way out of her comfort zone.

Achenyo Idachaba: How I turned a deadly plant into a thriving business
Achenyo Idachaba is the head of MitiMeth, a Nigeria-based company that makes handicrafts from aquatic weeds and other agro-waste. In this TED talk, Achenyo describes how she saw an opportunity where people saw fear. Watch her talk about her journey as she turns weeds into woven wonders.

Maya Penn: A young entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, activist
“All of my animations start with ideas, but what are ideas? Ideas can spark a movement. Ideas are opportunities and innovation. Ideas truly are what make the world go round. If it wasn’t for ideas, we wouldn’t be where we are now”
15-year-old Maya Penn makes eco-friendly clothes and accessories, which she sells on a site she built — and gives away a percent of the profits.

Lisa Bu: How books can open your mind
“Books have given me a magic portal to connect with people of the past and the present. I know I shall never feel lonely or powerless again.”
Lisa Bu has built a career helping people find great stories to listen to. In this talk, Lisa paints how she turned to books to expand her mind and create a new path for herself when her childhood dream was shattered.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
“…how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books by their very nature had to have foreigners in them and had to be about things with which I could not personally identify. Now, things changed when I discovered African books.”
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. In this talk, Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice.


Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself
“My dad is white from Cornwall, and my mom is black from Zimbabwe. Even the idea of us as a family was challenging to most people. But from about the age of five, I was aware that I didn’t fit. I was the black atheist kid in the all-white Catholic school run by nuns. I was an anomaly, and my self was rooting around for definition and trying to plug in. Because the self likes to fit, to see itself replicated, to belong.”
In this talk, Actress Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves.

Now, go forth and create your own awesomeness. 😉

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